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Can I Really Stack Underglaze Painted Item In Bisque Firing?


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#1 Pugaboo

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 05:21 PM

Okay I KNOW you can stack ware and have items touching for bisque firing. I think someone also told me I could also stack under-glazed items for bisque firing as well. Really honestly truly? No sticking? No peeling off of the underglaze from one piece to another?

I ask because I just loaded my kiln for a ^04 bisque run and for the first time I am trying out stacking ornaments 3 or 4 high. Some of these ornaments have hand painted underglaze designs on them and I guess I am just second guessing myself about whether or not I remembered it correctly. I won't be starting it up until tomorrow so there's still time to save me from myself!

Terry
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#2 bciskepottery

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 06:53 PM

Generally, no sticking; generally, no peeling. As in most pottery related processes and techniques, there are few universal rules. I've had underglaze color transfer from the bottom of the pot to the kiln shelf underneath; I've also stacked underglazed items (generally I'll stack same color on same color) with no problems. Results may depend on thickness and dryness of the underglaze application and the colors. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity to test/experiment . . . fire some stacked, but not all until you see the results of your work in your kiln. Better safe than sorry. At a minimum, assuming the ornaments are flat, I would not stack them face-to-face.

#3 oldlady

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:44 PM

glad you are going for it.  


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#4 clay lover

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 04:17 PM

Good question. I am also wondering about the non fusing properties of under glazes. I have some lidded pieces that I don't want to have naked clay showing, and want to fire together to prevent warping. Can I use underglaze on the areas that touch on the lid and rim of the bottom and not have them fuse together? Any other suggestions for getting the edges of both pieces colored in some way with out having them fuse together?

#5 Chris Campbell

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 04:50 PM

I would NOT do it! 

Underglaze colors transfer  ... not all of them and not all the time BUT why risk it and lose all your hard work? True, they will not flux and fuse onto your shelf or other work, but the colors will often transfer. ( by fumes? ) If you have a solid color facing the same solid color then it would not be a problem ... as on the mentioned lid and jar ... but I would not put different colors on each other or on something I wanted to stay clean.


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#6 Pugaboo

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 06:15 PM

Thanks Chris and everyone else.

I went down and unloaded and reloaded the kiln. Any piece that had a hand painted or underglaze transfer image on it I did not stack anything on top of. Since most of these have hand painted scenes of a German Village I didn't want to risk losing all that work. Items that were just painted with a solid coat of one color I stacked 3 high. These solid colored items are just test pieces any way to try out the laser transfer process. It will be a good test to see what they do to each other and the kiln shelf.

I was actually able to save space by using my rack to hang the ornaments and charms off of rather than laying them in stacks on the shelves so will just do this in the future I think. After switching to putting most of the ornaments on the rack I had enough room to add another bowl to the load!

I did break 3 small ornaments while unpacking and repacking the kiln grrrrr but I'll eventually learn to get the load right on the first try. Came close to breaking a tray but luckily only nicked the edge and was able to sand the tiny spot smooth hopefully it wasn't damaged in anyway I could not see. It's amazing what dropping 1 fifty cent sized piece can do to the stuff it hits. So again its trial and error and SURPRISE when I open the kiln.

Terry
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#7 Pugaboo

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 10:36 PM

Results of the stacking test-
All of the underglazes used were Amaco LUGs and were bisque fired to ^04.
The only color I had "jump" from 1 piece to another was the Amaco LUG dark blue. It left a perfect shadow impression of the pattern and color on the piece it was stacked on. This appears to be a tricky color as it does not like the nichrome wire either since when I clear glazed and fired a test last time it got this weird almost metallic halo effect around the hole the wire fed through. I also had a terrible time of this color jumping from 1 glazed piece to another. It's such a pretty color when glazed in clear and fired at ^6 but I am beginning to think its not worth the trouble since I would practically have to have it on a shelf by itself.

I stacked suntan, black, bright yellow, dark red, dark green, light blue, and chartreusse test pieces and had no color or pattern transference or sticking and peeling.

With these results I would still probably not stack the hand painted images for any firing since they are basically miniature original paintings but if I have a need to stack some solid like colored items I would feel comfortable enough to do so.

The next test will be to paint underglaze on the bottom of a bowl and on the rim of a box and fire it through the glaze firing with nothing but the underglazes touching. In other words clear glaze everything but the bottom and the touching rims but to go ahead and paint these surfaces with underglazes. I really don't like the bright white ring on the bottom of some of my pieces caused by leaving a space for running and sticking of glazes I find it visually distracting from the piece as a whole. I have a feeling doing this will only work with certain colors since I know the reds especially get very touchy at ^6 and might just fade, burn away or get blotchy without a top coat of clear to protect it. I had this happen on a couple really small tests I did back when I first started using under glazes. Unfortunately it didn't happen with all the tests so don't know yet if its just a random luck of the draw thing or what so more testing is called for.

Terry
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#8 bciskepottery

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 08:14 AM

Hmmm . . . the underglaze color I've had jump from ware to kiln shelf most often has been . . . blue.  I use Amaco Velvets.



#9 Pugaboo

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 08:39 AM

That's interesting, maybe all the blues have some issues. I wonder what they use to get the blue color? Cobalt? Does anyone know what minerals are used to make blues in glazes? I don't know glaze formulas yet still learning what makes what color etc. Especially what makes a DARK blue since that left a perfect ghost image of the pattern on the piece next to it.

Bciskepottery - have you had any issues with your reds fading in the final glaze firing? I have had this happen when I fire something red without a glaze over it and am wondering if I am doing something wrong. If I glaze over the red underglaze with either a clear or a translucent glaze it does just fine.

Oh by the way nobody at my group studio uses underglazes much except me so I have limited place to ask these questions. The general opinion is that underglazes are for the paint your own pottery places not for "real" potters. I use underglazes to paint scenes and very detailed images and patterns onto my pieces which I have not been able to do with glazes since they move too much. I also incorporate the underglazes with textures in the clay, stencils and real glazes. I am SLOWLY getting some of the potters to realize that underglazes are just another tool in the studio but unfortunately I tend to know more than they do which is practically nothing so asking them doesn't help much.

Terry
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#10 oldlady

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:51 AM

Attached File  100_2906.JPG   65.82KB   1 downloadsjust when i thought i would never see the last of them, the bluebirds disappeared.  these aren't real bluebirds, just the clay ones with red underglaze bellies that i fired for the Bluemont fair a few years ago.  the theme and poster and tee shirts all featured bluebirds so i crunched a round cookie cutter into a bird shape and made a bunch to hang on ribbons.

 

they had amaco red underglaze #382 bottom halves and blue glaze tops.  they fit into slots i cut into a few old soft bricks.  i stood them up in the slots and fired them.  all came out perfectly and there were so many that i still had a few this spring.  just found two in glaze test area.

 

now that the picture is up!!!!!!!! i can show the bigger cookie cutter i am using now to make shaped birds. the shadow line under the bird on the left shows that the edges of the bird come upward enough so it serves as a teabag holder or something. 

 

do these in a variety of colors, brown and orange for robins, fun colors for imaginary birds and make some bread-and-butter items for your next sale.  

 

(several buyers referred to them as "chicks" when they lined up to pay.   ???????????)


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#11 Chris Campbell

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 10:40 AM

Oh by the way nobody at my group studio uses underglazes much except me so I have limited place to ask these questions. The general opinion is that underglazes are for the paint your own pottery places not for "real" potters.
Terry


AARGHHH!!! "REAL" potters!!!!
This always makes me crazy and I can feel a rant coming on ... think of the hundreds of ways some try to exclude the unwashed masses from their lofty perches of realness! Ignore them as much as you can and keep trying everything you want to. Closed minds are just sad, sad places.

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#12 bciskepottery

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 10:46 AM

Reds (as well as pinks, purples, and yellows) tend to be finicky.  Some work better than others, e.g., dark red vs. light red.  But there is a tendency to see fading at ^6 and above.

 

For your studio mates who believe underglazes are not for “real” potters, here are a few images from my recent collaboration with Hsi-Mei Yates for her upcoming exhibit at Liberty Town Art in Fredericksburg, VA.  I made the pottery; she did the artwork.  Hsi-Mei is my Chinese brush painting instructor; I started classes with her as I was frustrated with my brushwork on pottery and wanted to learn brush loading, strokes, etc.  I was most fortunate in that Hsi-Mei, after finishing her schooling, began work decorating vases and pottery for a ceramics company in Taiwan.  She was one of the artists allowed to do free-style decorating, while others were given templates to copy.  These are the first pottery she has decorated in about 30 years.  Yep, real “paint your pottery” stuff. 

 

Clay body is Highwater’s Little Loafers; underglazes are Amaco Velvets.  Bisque fired to ^05; glazed with clear (non-commercial) and fired to ^6.

 

 

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#13 oldlady

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 10:58 AM

bruce,  lovely pots, great painting.  envy sigh........

 

pug lover, yes, cobalt "jumps".  my kiln guy told me about it and when i replaced the elements i found one spot of blue glaze in the element groove which had melted and broken the wire.  there are several blue haloes on shelves in my stack.  i do not put cobalt near the edges any more.


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#14 bciskepottery

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 11:38 AM

There is a complete set of images on my website.   www.bruceciskepottery.com

 

Besides blue, cobalt can be an ingredient in some black underglazes and mason stains.  Check the manufacturer's websites to see which ones have cobalt in them.



#15 Pugaboo

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 05:57 PM

Bciskepottery - Those are incredible! I am working small scale right now but just today I sat a small oval vase on my drawing table that I plan to paint a scene on. I hope to get more into original paintings on pottery pieces as I get better at getting pieces to survive all the way through the process. It's very disappointing to lose a painted piece all because I messed up something simple in the forming of the item. I think I am getting better at my building technique so its probably time to also freehand a pug onto something just have to decide on the image I want to paint and make a piece that will compliment it.

I am hoping by being stubborn and sticking to my underglazes I can show that they are capable of being so much more than it is thought they are. Eventually I hope to paint original one of a kind pieces that are a combination of techniques and materials. I think I am making tiny inroads since when I was at the group studio last there were quite a few more bottles of underglazes sitting on the shelf.

T
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#16 Chris Campbell

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 07:17 PM

Hang with us and we won't put you down!! :P

 

Just a side note on the "Paint your own pottery stores" that you can share with these lovely people <_<

 

Before those stores opened the underglaze colors in the bottles bore no resemblance whatsoever to the color it would fire to. You would just have to try and remember that the pink would fire blue and the yellow would fire brown and the beige would fire green ... etc, etc, etc, ... Can you imagine trying to paint a scene with all this mishmash of colors to remember? Then the miracle of customer demand $$$ in these stores made the manufacturers change their formulas so that the color you see is just about what you get. I say thank you, thank you, thank you to these businesses for making our lives 100% easier.

 

Also, I use these places when I need to and the ones near me do a great job. For instance ... I don't do plates but some of my clients love my original drawings on Christmas plates ... so I go in, paint my design on their selected greenware, leave and pick up my perfectly glazed & fired plate a week later. I really don't care if some people would think that was not "real". When it comes to plates, that is as real as I want to get. I don't have the desire to learn how to throw, trim and successfully fire plates.

 

p.s. to Bruce ... those pieces are awesome and absolutely amazing. Thanks for sharing.


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#17 neilestrick

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 08:10 AM

Cobalt, used in blue glazes, fumes out a bit during firing. Copper will do the same. I used to tumble stack pieces in the wood to play wit this idea. I used a copper slip on some pots stacked directly on a shino glaze, and the copper would fume off and get taken in by the shino, giving shades of turquoise and purple.

 

I stack underglazed pieces in bisque all the time. Sometimes they stick just a little, but never to the degree that color comes off. I use Speedball underglazes.


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#18 Chris Campbell

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 11:18 AM

You want to see someone having a blast with speedball underglazes ....

 

https://www.facebook.com/billy.mangham

 

He's director of the Eye of the Dog Art Center in Texas and boy do they have fun!


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#19 oldlady

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 09:11 PM

chris, i cannot see anything beyond the home page.  i am not a member of facebook.  is there a way to see it.


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#20 Idaho Potter

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:07 PM

Bciske, I don't look well in green, and that's what I am now, green with envy.  What a great collaboration!    Have a question about the green or blue background on some of the work.  Is the underglaze sprayed on and then the brushwork done on top?

 

Boy, howdy, Chris.  I'm with you showering blessings on the heads of anyone who helped convince the underglaze makers to make the colors reflect what the end result would be.  I also have used the paint and go places when someone wants a quick gift and there's no time to get it done in the studio.  I freely admit to the buyer where the pottery came from, but the drawing/design is by me and special to the buyer.  No complaints, yet. 

 

In fact, I know several people who have started out using bisque ware from the paint your pottery places, and have gone on to become potters because they couldn't find the shapes they wanted.  Grandmas who need to entertain grandchildren get to love these businesses.  With everything from dragons to Santas and angels, kids (of all ages) will be totally engaged in the process.  A little taste, and next thing you know, the grandkids are in your studio making their own sculptures or pots.

 

Shirley






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